2007-06-20 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Father's Day 2007
by Terry Toole

This past Sunday was Father's Day. If my father, Joseph Earl Toole, had lived, he would have been 100 right after I attained the age of 72. He was born in the year 1907.

I was checking some of my mail, and someone sent these statistics to me. What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1907 :

The average life expectancy was 47 years. My dad died at age 47.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub. We didn't have one until I was five or six.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. I'm not sure when we got a telephone, but you could pick it up and say, "Mrs. Poston, I need to speak to Ma." She would find Ma.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1907 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year, but you could buy several farms for that.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.

Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were 14 cents a dozen.

Coffee was 15 cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were as follows:

1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

I guess they didn't live long enough to die from cancer.

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas , Nevada, was only 30!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write. My dad learned to read backwards before he could read correctly because that was the way newspaper's type was set.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A. !

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

I have been told by those who knew my dad, if he said it, you could go to the bank with it. His word was as good as anyone wanted. I can remember that about him. If you needed help, he would always help the helpless.

I had rather have a reputation like that than have all the money in the world.

People will always remember if you can be trusted, depended on and truthful.

Happy belated Father's Day to all of you lucky enough to have a father or grandfather or are fortunate enough to be a father. The memory of a great father, a fishing and hunting buddy is wonderful to have if you don't have the real thing.

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